Why Do Alzheimer’s Patients Wander? 4 Things You Can Do to Keep Your Loved One Safe
Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s can be overwhelming. You might feel powerless to help him or her and concerned for his or her well-being. If your loved one is constantly wandering, here are five ways to keep him or her safe.
Keep The Home Consistent
A great way to keep your loved one safe is to keep their home or living area consistent. The alzheimers brain struggles to adjust to new environments, and constantly changing the layout or the furniture arrangement can make things very difficult for your loved one. Dementia also affects your loved one’s balance, so he or she will not be able to move through small areas. Create a layout that is free of obstacles and provides your family member with a safe space to walk. Keep the home consistent and try to see things from his or her point of view. You might think the space between two chairs is plenty of room, but for your family member, it might be a dangerous hazard.
Follow A Safety Checklist
No matter where your loved one is living, you want to make sure he or she is safe. Follow a safety checklist for every area, including any outdoor spaces. Try to keep your family member’s living spaces as simple as possible. Eliminate any mirrors, which can cause confusion, and any overly-busy wallpaper or art. Provide your loved one with bright, non-slip rugs at entryways, and make sure the floors are always clear of anything he or she could potentially trip over. Have grab bars installed in the shower and next to the toilet and remove the bathroom lock if possible so he or she can’t become trapped. You may need to review your safety checklist on a daily basis, which can be a lot of work for you but could be crucial for your loved one’s safety.
Lock Up Anything Potentially Dangerous
Just like with a small child, you’ll need to lock up anything that could be potentially dangerous for your loved one. He or she could experience confusion around a household product like bleach and accidentally consume it. Avoid this danger by keeping any chemicals, paints, and weapons locked up. You could put everything in a space in the garage, or if your loved one is living somewhere else like a residential facility, you could take the dangerous items to your home. Eliminating potential threats is the best way to keep your family member safe.
If you’re not living with your family member during this time, make sure you stay in constant contact. If your loved one is still living in his home, place emergency numbers by the telephone so that he or another caretaker can call you if something goes wrong. As your loved one starts to experience symptoms of dementia, he or she might call you frequently to make sure you’re okay. He or she also might ask you seemingly random questions or begin to speak to you as if you were someone else. Frequent communication with your family member will reassure him or her, and it will reassure you that he or she is okay. Make sure you’re always able to be reached by your family member or his caretakers. If you don’t have a home phone and your cell phone breaks, just head to uBreakiFix for a same-day repair. Being able to have your phone back quickly will make a huge difference in your peace of mind.
Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s is a challenge, but there are simple things you can do to keep him or her safe. Follow these steps and you can rest easy knowing that you’ve done all you can to keep your family member from danger.